Avery Hall houses Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, which was founded in 1881. Masters degrees are offered in architecture and in specialties such as urban design, urban planning, historic preservation, and real estate development. The School also offers a post-professional program, the degree in Advanced Architectural Design. Doctoral programs are offered in conjunction with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

The Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, one of the most comprehensive architectural libraries in the country, is located here. Its collection includes books and periodicals in architecture, historic preservation, art history, painting, sculpture, graphic arts, decorative arts, city planning, real estate, and archaeology. The Avery collection in architecture ranges from the first Western printed book on architecture, L. B. Alberti’s De Re Aedificatoria (1485), to a broad collection of books on contemporary architectural movements.